HC Deb 26 November 1917 vol 99 cc1639-40
56. Mr. CURRIE

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state how much Excess Profits Duty was in the first instance claimed by the Crown from Robertson, Sanderson and Company, Limited, in liquidation, distillers and wine merchants, in respect of the profits made by the company when it sold off its stocks of whisky en bloc at war prices and went out of business; how much less than its original claim the Crown accepted by way of compromise; whether he will, by legislation if necessary, strengthen the hands of the Inland Revenue Department so as to render such compromises unnecessary for the future in view of the increased burden of taxation which in effect they throw upon other taxpayers; and whether he is aware that, pending the settlement of this disputed claim, speculation in the company's shares arose on the Stock Exchange and that the admitted uncertainty of the state of the law enabled Stock Exchange profits to be made which are liable neither for Income Tax, Supertax, nor Excess Profits Duty, although the war price of whisky caused the whole commercial profit to arise?


I would refer my hon. Friend to Section 45 (8) of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915, which precludes the Commissioners of Inland Revenue from furnishing information as to the Excess Profits Duty assessments made upon particular taxpayers.